[Tweeters] Re: Western Scrub Jays - long response

Brett Wolfe m_lincolnii at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 11 18:09:27 PDT 2005

Hi John, tweets,
I don't believe that the birds are that migratory, although it is possible that they are altitudinal migrants. The one's in my friends yard have been viewed at all times of year, but he says that there are times that he doesn't see them for 2-6 weeks at a stretch. However, he said it has also been since at least 1998 that the birds were around (remembered so well because he first saw them when recovering from a heart attack). I would think that there are probably earlier sightings in the area as well, but don't have data to back it up. With my friend John, he isn't a birder and had no idea that there was any significance to these particular birdfs being in his backyard. Heck, I've known him for years and we just happened to be having a discussion last winter, and when I said something about the irruption of Blue Jays into Idaho and eastern Washington, he told me about his "Blue" jays. After some discussion and looks at guide books I have, we decided he had scrub jays, and wi!
 thin a
 couple of weeks I saw first one and then both birds there. Late this spring, while I was working in California, he saw as many as three birds and was sure that one of them was a juvenile, as it looked different than the other two.
And whereas some folks have already said that they aren't that happy about having another corvid around, I'd personally rather have corvids around, who also clean up carrion and such things, than cowbirds or other predator/parasite birds. If a mama birds eggs are stolen by a corvid early in the year, there is a good chance she will lay a new batch. But if she has to raise up a cowbird young, there is way less time to try to lay and rear that 2nd batch. So, IMHO, corvids are less a worry than some other birds around here.
Brett A. Wolfe
Seattle, WA 
m_lincolnii at yahoo.com

I have had a pair of scrub jays nesting near my office annually since 2000. They appear about Mar/Apr and then disappear after fledging. I assume they are migratory. As far as I know the sitings in 2000 would be the first for the Seattle area; however, I wasn't on tweeters then to report them.
John Dunne, Mercer Island

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